Indigenes of Ibadan in Oyo state have appealed to President Muhammadu Buhari to appoint one of the four of them vying for the position of Vice Chancellor of University of Ibadan.
They also want an indigene appointed the next Chief Medical Director of the University Teaching Hospital, (UCH) Ibadan.
The indigenes under the auspices of Central Council of Ibadan Indigenes (CCII) made the demands on Sunday at a press conference in Ibadan. They said they had been marginalised in past appointments to the position. CCII is the apex socio-cultural group in Ibadan.
A new vice chancellor is due to take office on December 1 when the tenure of the incumbent, Abel Olayinka, runs out.
Speaking for the CCII, its president, Adeyemi Soladoye, said it is time an Ibadan indigene also became the Chief Medical Director of UCH.
The University of Ibadan, which was established in 1948, has not had an Ibadan indigene as vice chancellor. UCH has also never had an Ibadan indigene as CMD.
Mr Soladoye, who addressed the press conference at Ibadan House, allege that qualified indigenes of the ancient city have been marginalised in the appointment of vice chancellor since the inception of the university 72 years ago.
Mr Soladoye said “this neglect is not for absence of qualified Ibadan indigenes within the U.I system or in the academic circle of Nigeria to occupy the coveted seat of the Vice-Chancellor of the U.I.”
He said it is unfortunate that the university in its 72-yearnhistory has produced 14 Nigerian vice chancellors since 1960 but none of them has been an Ibadan indigene.
Mr Soladoye said there are four professors in the university who are indigenes of Ibadan that are qualified for the position. He named the professos as Remi Raji-Oyelade, who is a former Dean of the Faculty of Arts and current Member, University of Ibadan Governing Council; Kayode Adebowale, who is the Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Administration; Emiola Olapade-Olaopa, who is the immediate past Provost of the College of Medicine; and Kolapo Hamzat, who is the Head of Department of Physiotherapy.
He appealed to President Buhari to pick one of the four indigenes to succeed the outgoing vice chancellor this year.
Federal universities in Nigeria elect their vice-chancellors with the governorning councils presenting the three top candidates from the elections to the president as visitor of the universities to pick from.
CCII also made the same demand concerning the UCH, which is the teaching hospital of the UI.
“In similar vein, it is also now 54 years since Ibadan gave large expanse of land to build the University College Hospital (UCH), still, no Ibadan man has ever emerged as the Chief Medical Director of UCH – this one again seems to be the exclusive right of the indigenes of Ekiti and Ondo States.
“Sincerely, these records call for caution even on the part of the beneficiaries.
“Despite all the above, everybody is aware of the trademarks of tolerance and hospitability of Ibadan people. All ethnic and religious groups in Nigeria live in wisely assigned compounds on Ibadan land and there has never been ethnic or religious riot on Ibadan land.
“We do not want innocent oversight on the part of some Nigerians to cause disharmony between us and our Yoruba kinsmen but then this handshake is going too far beyond the elbow,” he said.